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September 2004



Wild Fish Runs is a bi-monthly publication for Wild Fish Conservancy members and supporters to provide program updates and networking assistance. The Wild Fish Conservancy is a conservation-ecology organization dedicated to the recovery and conservation of the Northwest’s wild-fish ecosystems. Since 1989, the Wild Fish Conservancy has sought to improve conditions for all of the region’s wild fish through science, education and advocacy. The Wild Fish Conservancy is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

PO Box 402
15629 Main St NE
Duvall, WA 98019

425-788-1167 (Phone)
425-788-9634 (Fax)


Want to get more involved? The Wild Fish Conservancy appreciates your support and can use your volunteer help in a number of ways including the annual benefit auction, educational programs, office assistance, staffing booths at public events, and participating in membership campaigns and other special events.  Please contact the office at 425-788-1167 if you would like to volunteer or have an event you would like mentioned in Wild Fish Runs or on the website.




Elliot Drucker

Washington Trout has partnered with the Snohomish County Surface Watersept04_skysnorkel Management Division and R2 Resource Consultants in a restoration assessment study of the Skykomish River's Braided Reach, extending from the towns of Gold Bar to Sultan. The broad-ranging project, which includes topographic mapping, hydraulic modeling, and biological surveying, is designed to provide new information about the Braided Reach that will assist the prioritization of future habitat restoration opportunities. Washington Trout's role in the project is to characterize fish use within the study reach, which includes nearly nine miles of mainstem channel habitat and five miles of interconnected side channels. WT will perform seasonal surveys in 2004 and 2005 to determine fish species composition, abundance and age class distribution.

In late July, WT began summer survey work in both mainstem and off-channel habitats. In order to document fish use at a reach-level scale, three-person crews snorkeled more than seventy consecutive habitat units (pools, riffles, and glides) within the study reach's mainstem, and dozens more within the side channel network. To obtain fish-use data at an appropriately high spatial resolution, habitat units were divided into left-bank, center, and right-bank areas, each surveyed by a different crewperson. The units were further partitioned into upper, middle and lower thirds. This sampling strategy was designed to reveal patterns of variation in fish species, age class and abundance both within and among different habitat unit types.

Fishes observed in the Braided Reach during the summer survey include adult chinook salmon, steelhead, rainbow and cutthroat trout, bull trout, sucker and whitefish. Juvenile trout and coho salmon were also abundant, predominately within swift riffles and bank-associated woody debris. A general distributional pattern emerging from the survey is that overall fish density appears to be greatest at habitat-unit interfaces, particularly pool-to-riffle transitions. The fish-use dataset from summer 2004 will be incorporated into an interactive Web-based geographic information system in which users may query individual habitat units, as well as sub-unit partitions, to obtain detailed information about species composition, age and abundance. (Examples of WT's interactive online maps are available for viewing at

The summer snorkel survey, together with subsequent surveys scheduled for fall 2004 and winter and spring 2005, will provide a baseline of information about fish-use conditions within the study reach, against which future conditions may be compared. These data represent a critical link in the process of identifying restoration actions with a high likelihood of creating and maintaining important fish habitat within the Skykomish Braided Reach.


Jamie Glasgow

During May and June 2004 Washington Trout fieldcrews performed watershed mapping and fish species composition and distribution surveys in portions of ten watersheds on Orcas Island in San Juan County. This effort represents the first systematic on-the-ground survey effort to accurately map stream locations and fish distribution in San Juan County.

Where permission to access the watersheds on Orcas Island was granted, Washington Trout took over 800 photographs and collected 135 GPS points, each associated with fieldnotes to characterize the fish and habitats in each stream. Nine different fish species were observed and photographed, including cutthroat and rainbow trout, juvenile coho and chum salmon, and non-native brook trout. Preliminary analyses indicate that over five miles of streams on Orcas Island were incorrectly classified as non fish-bearing by the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

Where permission to access the watersheds on Orcas Island was granted, Washington Trout took over 800 photographs and collected 135 GPS points, each associated with fieldnotes to characterize the fish and habitats in each stream. Nine different fish species were observed and photographed, including cutthroat and rainbow trout, juvenile coho and chum salmon, and non-native brook trout. Preliminary analyses indicate that over five miles of streams on Orcas Island were incorrectly classified as non fish-bearing by the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

Data collected during the surveys are being incorporated into an interactive web-based Geographic Information System (GIS). The web page will enable visitors, the general public and public agency staff alike, to tour the watersheds and view detailed information and photographs about each watershed. The web page will also allow users to select which background layers they would like to view; options include county and private roads, topography, and aerial photographs. It will be accessible from Washington Trout's web page ( by December 2004.

Washington Trout's watertyping surveys on Orcas Island are part of a larger effort that includes nearshore beach seining and historical ecology surveys, to better understand the role that San Juan County watersheds may play in native salmon recovery. Project partners include the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Samish Indian Nation, and the University of Washington.

Skull Creek is one of ten watersheds surveyed during this project. On the left is the Washington State Department of Natural Resource's most current map of the watershed. The map on the right shows the same watershed as ground truthed and mapped by Washington Trout crews in June 2004. "Water Type" codes are used to identify stream reaches that warrant additional protection because of the fish or fish habitats that were observed there. Stream reaches with low water types (1, 2, 3) warrant more protection than reaches with high water types.



Micah Wait

Washington Trout will be implementing the first on the ground action for the Dosewallips estuary restoration project this month. WT will be removing a small dike in the salt marsh north of the river mouth. The dike is currently breached but it still inhibits tidal circulation in a 10 acre portion of the salt marsh. Increasing tidal access to this portion of the salt marsh will result in an increase in tidal channel development and salt marsh vegetation behind the dike. Salt marsh vegetation is the base of the estuarine food web that includes juvenile salmonids. The detritus generated by the vegetation's seasonal growth sustains the rich aquatic community of the estuary, and the tidal channels act as the veins and arteries of the ecosystem, transferring energy and organisms between the fringes of the salt marsh and the open waters of the Hood Canal nearshore with each tidal cycle.


Photo of the dike WT will be removing this month.
The vegetated dike can be seen on the right side of the picture
and the tidal channel restricted by the dike is on the left.

WT will be working with a Washington Conservation Corps crew to remove the dike using hand tools and light equipment. By using these low impact restoration methods we will decrease the "footprint" of our work in the salt marsh. We will be removing approximately 500 cubic yards of fill from the dike, and expect the task to take up to three weeks. All of this phase of the project is occurring on public land in the Dosewallips State Park; if you are interested in the project come see the initial results of our work later this fall.



Ramon Vanden Brulle


On August 18, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the beginning of a 60-day public comment period for the proposed management plans of 45 Columbia River WDFW salmon and steelhead hatchery programs. The Hatchery Genetic Management Plans (HGMPs) describe the goals, operational details, and environmental impacts of 10 chinook, two chum, 14 coho, and 19 steelhead hatchery programs in various lower Columbia River tributaries. Comments are due by October 18, 2004. Information and copies of the HGMPs are available at the WDFW website ( or by contacting WDFW at (360) 902-2700.

The proposed annual releases of almost 27,000,000 hatchery salmon and steelhead into the lower Columbia Basin will have significant impacts on dwindling wild populations of Lower Columbia River chinook, Columbia River chum, Lower Columbia River coho, and Lower Columbia River steelhead. LCR chinook, LCR steelhead, and CR chum are currently listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and LCR coho have been proposed for listing as Threatened by NOAA Fisheries. NOAA Fisheries requires HGMPs for any hatchery operation with the potential to negatively impact a listed salmon or steelhead population. After public review, WDFW will submit all 45 HGMPs to NOAA Fisheries for ESA authorization.

The public is invited to review the hatchery plans and submit comments to WDFW. WDFW will respond to all comments in writing, and forward the comments and responses to NOAA Fisheries for review with the HGMPs.

Columbia River hatchery operations are undoubtedly harming and killing listed salmon and steelhead, through competition for food and habitat, displacement, predation, and harmful genetic interactions. The HGMP process is meant to evaluate and balance any benefits of hatchery production against the risks it imposes to the recovery of listed populations. This is an opportunity to influence improvements in WDFW hatchery practices, and to help ensure the effective recovery of our wild-fish resources. Hatchery-reform advocates can review these operational hatchery plans for consistency with acknowledged reform needs and the recommendations of several independent science panels.

The public-comment period is part of a 2003 agreement negotiated between Washington Trout, the Native Fish Society, and WDFW to make hatchery management more transparent, engage the public, influence improvements in current hatchery practices, and set a deadline for completion of all WDFW Columbia River HGMPs, which have been overdue a January 2001 NOAA deadline. Approximately 40 more overdue Columbia River HGMPs will be available for public review within 18 months.

As it becomes available, more information can be obtained on the WT website (, or by contacting Washington Trout directly.


Ramon Vanden Brulle

In May, The Bush Administration announced a new policy regarding the treatment of hatchery and wild salmon and steelhead in federal ESA-listing decisions. The administration intends to count hatchery fish in determining health of individual stocks, something most scientists say likely will impede long-term recovery. The policy could result in the early and inappropriate removal of ESA protections from declining wild salmon populations and their habitats. The policy faces broad opposition throughout the region from scientists, wild-fish advocates, environmentalists, community leaders, regional policy makers, and members of Congress. (See Wild Fish Runs, July 04).

Written comments on the proposal are due by October 20, 2004. Information about submitting comments is available at the NOAA Fisheries web site, Dates have also been set for Public Hearings throughout the region in September and October, where the public can offer input about the proposal.

The foundation of NOAA's new policy, that hatchery salmon are capable of contributing to the recovery of ESA-listed wild populations, is completely unproven. Hatchery fish threaten the long-term viability of wild salmon and steelhead populations by decreasing the genetic fitness of wild populations, competing for food and habitat, spreading disease, and promoting increased predation. Hatchery runs create harvest pressures that declining wild runs cannot support. Even if hatchery salmon were not an actual threat to wild fish, the statutory mission of the ESA is to recover naturally reproducing populations by preserving and restoring the natural ecosystems they depend on, not mass-producing artificial facsimiles.

Respected scientists maintain that a policy that combines hatchery fish in with wild fish will jeopardize the recovery of listed wild populations. Representatives from NOAA's own scientific advisory panel noted in the prestigious journal Science, "much evidence exists that hatcheries cannot maintain wild salmon populations indefinitely." Meanwhile agricultural, industry, and development groups, who favor the removal of ESA protections for both hatchery and wild fish, plan on using the policy to open the door to early de-listings. Already NOAA is using this policy to say that the Columbia River dams don't jeopardize the future of salmon!

We need your help in fighting this bad policy. NOAA needs to hear from you about how and why you oppose including hatchery fish with wild fish in making ESA listing decisions. Tell NOAA that wild salmon, steelhead, and their habitats need continued protection, that hatchery fish can NEVER replace wild salmon and steelhead, and that concrete raceways are NOT habitat!

To find out more about the policy, the science of salmon, and what you can do to help, visit the Washington Trout website ( for important information and links.

In the meantime, check to see if there's a NOAA hearing in your area (all meetings 6:30-9:30 pm):

Sept. 14

Wenatchee, Wash.

Chelan County PUD Auditorium

Sept. 16

Kennewick, Wash.

Red Lion Hotel

Sept. 22

Newport, Ore.

Shilo Inn

Sept. 28

Salmon, Idaho

Stagecoach Inn

Sept. 30

Lewiston, Idaho

Red Lion Hotel

Oct. 5

Seattle, Wash.

Radisson Hotel (SeaTac)

Oct. 7

Roseburg, Ore.

Umpqua Community College

Oct. 13

Portland, Ore.

Portland Building




Leah Hausman

sept04_EDPCaseyThe chill in the morning air, a few leaves starting to change color, school children waiting for buses' it can only mean one thing it's time for the fall season of the Environmental Discovery Program to get underway! The Environmental Discovery Program is Washington Trout's primary environmental education program. It a is hands-on, classroom and field-based program that teaches students about the importance of native plants, native animals, and healthy ecosystems. Eight classes are participating this fall, which is more than double the number of classes which had previously participated in any single season. Ten classes are scheduled to participate next spring! EDP program expansion has been made possible through the vision and generous financial support of the Raven Foundation.

Support by the Raven Foundation also made it possible to hire on WT's first Education Coordinator, Casey Ralston. Casey volunteered with the EDP last spring and we are very excited to have her on-board. Casey is working towards her Masters of Science in Biology for Teaching at the University of Washington and recently completed the Certificate in Environmental Education program through the UW and IslandWood. You can reach Casey at 425-788-1167 or by email at [email protected] WT is also very pleased to announce that another former volunteer, Barb Bruell, is going to be a Field Trip Instructor for this fall's program. Volunteers are still needed to make the field trips a full success, please click here to read more!

WT would like to thank to the following teachers and schools for participating in the Fall 2004 season of the EDP: Ruth Balf and Krista Canterbury (Olympic Hills Elementary), Janet Burks (View Ridge Elementary), Lisa Dunker (Greenwood Elementary), Kent Ferris and Francis White (Lafeyette Elementary), Judy Harris (Eagle Rock Multiage School), and Jerry Price (Stillwater Elementary). For more information about the Environmental Discovery Program, visit


Nick Gayeski

Washington Trout Resource Analyst Nick Gayeski spent the month of June and the first half of July in a field camp on the Utkholok river in Western Kamchatka, Russia conducting research that will contribute to a joint US-Russian conservation and scientific research venture known as the Kamchatka Salmonid Biodiversity Project, coordinated between the Wild Salmon Center, the University of Montana's Flathead Lake Biological Station, and Moscow State University. The principal aims of this joint project are to preserve wild steelhead populations on the Kamchatka Peninsula and to understand the relationships between river complexity and the abundance and diversity of salmonid populations. Focused research is being conducted from May through October on several rivers in Kamchatka, including the Utkholok.

Since 1999, Nick has been spending several weeks a year in Kamchatka during September and October with Dr. Jack Stanford, Director of the Flathead Lake Biological Station. Through Nick's efforts, Washington Trout was instrumental in involving Dr. Stanford in the Wild Salmon Center's US/Russian steelhead and salmon conservation effort. Most of the field work during the fall expeditions has involved surveying rivers to assess their suitability as priority conservation areas and sites for long-term research and monitoring of salmon biodiversity. Work this spring included collecting samples of food-web components and beginning field studies of habitat-use and growth-patterns of juvenile rainbow trout. Together with his Russian colleagues, Nick collected samples of salmon and steelhead smolts, resident juvenile salmonids and pre-spawning adult steelhead, and participated in surveys to locate steelhead spawning areas.

The food-web samples will be transferred to the Flathead Lake Biological Stationsept04_kamchatka where they will be analyzed to quantify the marine origin of carbon and nitrogen in the riverine ecosystem. A large fraction of the total carbon and nitrogen circulating in a riverine ecosystem can be transported from the ocean to the river be spawning salmon, especially where salmon populations are large and when a significant proportion of annual runs are allowed to return to the river and spawn. Kamchatka's salmon-bearing river systems provide a unique opportunity to study this important aspect of ecosystem ecology.

His collaboration with Dr. Stanford and the opportunities Kamchatka has provided for studying wild steelhead and rainbow trout in nearly pristine salmonid ecosystems has prompted Nick to pursue a Ph.D. in Biology with Dr. Stanford. His Ph.D. work focuses on the reproductive interactions between anadromous and non-anadromous steelhead and the significance of these interactions for the long-term persistence of local populations. Nick will be returning to Kamchatka in September and October to continue his research.




In celebration of our 15th Anniversary, Washington Trout is pleased to announce the launch of our new membership program. WT is offering two ways to be a member our Monthly Giving Program and revised annual giving program. While we have implemented a new system of membership levels and benefits, either way you go there is still no minimum to join; you choose how much and how often you want to contribute to WT.

By participating in the Monthly Giving Program, you will join a special group of Washington Trout members who provide critical support by making donations on a monthly basis. You can change your donation at any time and by allowing you to spread out your donation over a period of time, it is even easier to give. WT can automatically process your tax-deductible credit card donation, making the whole process simpler and more convenient for you.

Or if you prefer making annual donations, your tax-deductible contribution at any level will give you a membership with Washington Trout. All members will receive our bi-monthly email newsletter "Wild Fish Runs," a custom WT logo window cling, and invitations to special events including our annual Wild Fish Soiree & Benefit Auction. In appreciation of the increased financial support and stability contributed by members who choose to give at higher levels, those members will receive additional benefits and recognition. We are also excited to announce two brand-new membership groups, the Patrons Circle and the Benefactors Circle. Members of the Patrons Circle and Benefactors Circle give a minimum of $1,000 or $5,000 respectively to Washington Trout each year, forming a core group of dedicated and visionary individuals committed to WT's mission and programs. For more information about the benefits of different membership levels, please visit our website at, call the office at 425-788-1167, or email WT Director of Outreach & Development Leah Hausman at [email protected]

In 1989, a committed group of wild fish advocates from around the state came together to create a strong, science-based voice for preserving and restoring Washington's wild fish and their habitats. Over the past fifteen years, WT has won important victories for our state's wild fish through our commitment to scientifically sound research, restoration, and advocacy. However, significant challenges remain, including unsound fishery policies, the poor enforcement of environmental laws, and threatened rollbacks of existing environmental protections. If you are not yet a member of Washington Trout, or have let your membership lapse, I urge you to renew your membership today. You can join or renew your membership at WT's website,, through an online donation or by downloading a membership form, or you can always contact the office at 425-788-1167.

Never before has there been such a critical juncture of momentum for wild fish recovery: awareness, planning, implementation, restoration, monitoring, and unfortunately, reduced state, agency, and foundation financial support. Washington Trout is working hard every day to protect and restore some of Washington State's most recognizable, treasured, and threatened natural resources our wild fish and the healthy ecosystems they need to survive. But we can't do it alone. The success of the effort to protect and restore our wild fish will take the combined resources of a strong, diverse, and engaged base of people caring and giving at all levels. With your help, we can create a future for wild fish.





On Saturday November 6th from 3-6pm, Washington Trout will hold its first-ever benefit wine tasting, Many Happy Returns, and you're invited! Join us for an evening of wonderful wine, food, and entertainment as we toast to the health of Washington's wild fish and their habitats. Many Happy Returns will be held at Suyama Space, a contemporary alternative gallery located in the office of Suyama Peterson Deguchi Architects in Belltown. From an 1800s livery stable to an automobile service garage, the space was transformed into a unique installation gallery featuring worn-wood plank floors, exposed old-growth wood trusses, and vaulted ceilings. WT extends our heartfelt thanks to George Suyama, who has generously donated use of Suyama Space for this event.

The featured winery for Many Happy Returns is Cavatappi Winery. Located next to the Kirkland restaurant Cafe Juanita, winemaker and owner Peter Dow specializes in Italian varietals and is sure to please guests by showcasing Cavatappi's quality and diversity. Accompanying the wines will be a plentiful assortment of hors d'oeuvres by Lowell-Hunt Catering. Lowell-Hunt Catering is the Northwest's leading premier caterer and was voted the "It" catering company in 2003 by Seattle magazine. And to charm your ears as much as your palate, WT is pleased to present the musical musings of Lexington Avenue, a Seattle-based vocal jazz quartet.

We will post more information, including ticket price and RSVP dates, on WT's website as it becomes available so check back soon. Please mark your calendars and look for your invitation in early October. We hope to see you there!



Washington Trout needs volunteers to help staff the Environmental Discovery Program field trips. Eight 4th and 5th grade classes from Seattle and the Snoqualmie Valley are participating this season. As part of the program, students take a full day field trip to Oxbow Farms, an organic farm located between Duvall and Carnation on SR 203. On the field trip they explore the surrounding environment and learn about the importance of native plants, animals, and ecosystems. The field trips are scheduled to take place during the weeks of October 4th and October 11th. You can volunteer for as many (or as few) of the classes as you like. All volunteers will receive plenty of personalized and group instruction to ensure your comfort with the lessons, activities, and site. The volunteer training day has been tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 2nd from 10am - 2pm at Oxbow Farm. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact WT's Education Coordinator Casey Ralston at 425-788-1167 or by email at [email protected] by September 24th at the latest. Thank you!


Want to get more involved with Washington Trout? WT appreciates your support and can use your volunteer help in a number of ways including the annual WT auction, educational programs, mailing and office assistance, staffing booths at public events, and participating in membership campaigns and other special events. Check out the website for more information on volunteer opportunities and our calendar, which lists upcoming WT and other organizations events, meetings, classes, etc. Please contact Leah Hausman at [email protected] if you have an event you would like mentioned in Wild Fish Runs or on the website!




Shop the WT Store and Support Salmon Recovery:

The WT Store is a fun way to open up the front of our office and make a space where people can come in, learn about Washington Trout, and buy something with the knowledge that all proceeds go to support WT. We have been expanding our inventory, bringing in new items and product lines that we think you and your family will enjoy.

We have a wide variety of items to appeal to adults, kids, and kids-at-heart: puppets; stuffed animals; scientific games and kits; tools to explore the outdoors; books to educate and entertain all age levels; Burt's Bees and Bunny's Bath personal products; art prints by Joseph Tomelleri, Tanya Hill, Jean Ferrier and original pastels by Tim Harris; chocolate; candles; computer map programs; cards; calendars; a new line of yummy treats and fun gifts for your dog or cat; and of course, WT logo hats, fleece and travel coffee mugs. View some of our store items online at

Beginning in September, the WT Store will be closed on Saturdays. This is a temporary change and the store will definitely re-open for weekends around Thanksgiving, if not before then. If you need to place an order and can't make it out to Duvall during the week, contact the office at 425-788-1167 or email [email protected] and we'll be happy to take your order and ship it to you. The WT Store is now open Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm. We are located on SR 203 at 15629 Main St NE in Duvall, WA.

Shopping Online?

You can do your usual online shopping and help support Washington Trout by shopping through the WT shopping village at Choose from more than 100 brand name retailers like eBay,, PetsMart, The Disney Store, Dell, Lands' End and many more. Up to 15% of everything you buy benefits Washington Trout. To go directly to the WT shopping village, visit

WellSpent.Org is another great source for online shopping. has thousands of products - including electronics, software, computers, tools, appliances, camping gear and much more - available at discount prices. Every purchase you make generates a donation for the non-profit cause of your choice. So visit, search for Washington Trout, and help yourself to some great gifts - you'll be helping us, too!









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